Christmas: Dual Citizenship

Philippians 3:20

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV)

Yes, Israel’s Messiah, Humanity’s Savior, and Earth’s King has arrived. God’s commitment from the beginning of time arrived unto the world stage revealed through one Man – Jesus Christ. The Christmas story portrays heaven’s royalty in humbling surroundings. Yes, the narrative highlights God’s values toward people.

If you and I produced a worldly version of such a movie, it would be with great pompous celebration with no limited expense. For those who can recall, it would make the year 2000 worldwide New Year’s celebration a total dud. But God does real life stories with eternal values being highlighted. The end result is a taste of God’s character on full display. Jesus’ birth, life, and ascension into heaven is a prime example.

Jesus’ arrival on earth came within a “blue collar” family under the religious law where his mother and him (in the womb) could have been stone to death (from the beginning of conception, HE lived a life constantly threaten by outside political & religious forces). Thereafter he lived for some thirty plus years under the worldly religious title of “bastard”. Joseph wasn’t his biological father but accepted him as his son. His entire life was lived out among the people and not within royal gates. Yet after fulfilling his earthly mission by defeating Satan’s rule, laying the foundation for an earthly Church, and providing the means for unifying humanity under HIS authority as Earth’s new King, HE ascended into heaven to await the completion of all things prior to HIS scheduled return.

Yes, our King Jesus has granted us citizenship into HIS Kingdom. As citizens, we have all rights and privileges granted by HIM as outlined throughout the written gospels and letters collected together within the pages of the Bible. The apostle Paul refers us as ambassadors on behalf of Christ. We represent for those around us Jesus Christ’s government – the Kingdom of God.  For most of us, we have a dual citizenship. Our allegiance is first to Christ, then to our local government. Yes, we give the government the things that are theirs, and God the things that are HIS (Mark 12:17).

Christmas is about the stage entrance of heaven and earth’s final King. One day HE will plant his throne in the new Jerusalem and govern all nations and tribes. Those around HIM will have been proven through life’s tests to be faithful and competent in service to HIM and HIS subjects. Until then, we wait with patience being HIS ambassadors to a rebellious world lost in their ignorance of HIS Incarnation and macro mission for humanity. Christmas is a reminder to the world that their future King has arrived.

Merry Christmas!!    

  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Christmas: God’s Government Arrives 

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[b]

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

As I age, the more aware this man becomes of the repeated theme of government between the pages of the Bible. From the Book of Genesis where God gives Adam & Eve domain of the earth to the last chapter of the Book of Revelations where the City of God merges heaven and earth together into one final chapter of mankind’s experience, how the theme of government shouts out throughout the pages of the best-selling Book.

Christmas reminds us of this purpose. Jesus Christ entered the world prophesied to become the long-awaited final King of Israel. And yes, we are still in the middle of that prophesy as we all await the return of the God-Man to fully establish HIS world ruling government. Yet there is much that must happen first.

Prior to HIS physical departure from planet earth, HE invested time and energy preparing and training HIS students for world change. His teachings, principles, and story are covered throughout the writings of the Bible. His eyes and purpose were focused not only on events during his stay on earth but for the eventual culmination of all history when HE returns to complete HIS Father’s mission for mankind.

Christmas is only a very small blip of events to remind us of HIS continual work throughout history. As a reflection of HIS Father, HE revealed and demonstrated what GOD is like. HE outlined the eternal mission and purpose of humanity. HE recruited a team to venture a new start-up, the Church. And every season under earth, HE continues to recruit, train, and lead fallible people to work alongside HIM preparing HIS children for their eternal assignment. He is preparing a people to govern and serve in the family business – the Kingdom of God.

Along with the Holy Spirit who inspires, encourages, and comforts us through our daily assignments, we are embryos being developed through the trials and tests of everyday life as we await our delivery into the hands of our eternal home. Yes, mankind is so much more than a cousin of the animal kingdom. You and I have been given the privilege of life as a gift. From life, we experience human trauma, but also the divine fruit of our heavenly Triune God. We have a small taste of eternity today, but live under its shadow waiting for the sun to fully arise.

Yes, Christmas is a reminder that God cares for you and I. He has a macro purpose for all humanity. The real joy is aligning our micro purpose with HIS macro purpose to live out each day colonizing our corner of the world for HIS glory.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Christmas: Our King Arrives

Luke 1:30-33

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (ESV)

Christmas memories. We all have them. Hopefully more enjoyable ones than not.

For many it’s a time when family and friends gather together to celebrate the season of giving and good cheer. Gifts are exchanged, meals are served, and the traditional visit to a church x-mas service are some of the activities one may expect. Yet, I wonder how many step-back and truly reflect on the meaning of the season?

Of all the people born from woman, has anyone influenced the world more than Jesus Christ?

A man who lived some two thousand years ago in an age of mason stone and political tyranny; who died in his early thirties, never held public office, nor wrote a book; who was homeschooled, grew up in a small village, and mis-labelled a bastard his entire life.  

He never married, nor had children, and died financially broke.

He is known as a man who never sinned. (Even the Koran identifies this accomplishment); whose God worked mightily through him; and whose life impacted more people throughout the generations than anyone else who ever since lived.

Most people who die soon depart from the memories of the living. But a few make such an impression that their teachings continue. In HIS case, they flourished. Today we recognize Jesus Christ not only as a man, but as a God-Man. The promised Messiah. The King of Heaven and Earth. The Second Person of the God-Head. Mankind’s connection to the eternal world of God Almighty.

Yes, Jesus is Lord of Lords as outlined in the Book of Revelations. World kings, princes, and presidents have recognized HIM as such. Those who believe await the return of HIS physical presence and the establishment of HIS world government. A non-tyrannical, freedom flourishing culture where everyone has the opportunity to exercise their God-given gifts for the service of others and the fulfillment of life as God created you and I to be.

Yes, this is what every Christmas season reminds me. What about you?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Christmas: A Time to Decide

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christmas has changed over the years for me. In prior years, the commercial exchange of gifts took top priority. Today though, it has become more of a quiet, intentional, outreach time for a personal evangelical campaign.

I have also come to more appreciate the spirit of giving which still permeants throughout the season. People are more in a sharing and philanthropic mood as witness by many nonprofit charity campaigns raising the majority of their operating funds during this time of year.

From the Salvation Army Santa Claus standing by their red kettles ringing their bells, to Churches being full to capacity with family and friends coming together to hear at least one message about the Biblical Jesus Christ, I’ve now come to appreciate the season more for this prime reason. Christmas is a global reminder for everyone within the western and eastern world to take a minute and ask themselves the question, why is this Jesus important?

If you are a once a year church going member, then maybe you may have heard 20 to 60 messages in your lifetime about this Jesus who was born 2,000 years ago in a small Jewish town of Bethlehem. And maybe one of those messages led you to further investigate into his life. Somewhere along the line you came to the fork in the road where you had to decide. Is He who He claims to be or not? If so, am I willing to follow Him. If not, am I willing to accept the consequences of my actions?

Every person who breathes will have to make that decision. Yes, it is about making a choice. A commitment to follow a person who lived 2,000 years ago, started a movement with 12 unknowns that shaped a culture that keeps ticking and growing in the most unwelcome places throughout the centuries.

To believe God became man, lived among His creation for our benefit as a perfect human upholding all righteousness for our sake, dying, and then being resurrected with over 500 witnesses acknowledging this fact, and finally being lifted up into the heavens where He now lives being qualified as earth’s King, intervening for you and I before God, and just as mind blowing, His Spirit residing in you and I giving us His assurance and a taste of the heavenly delights of God’s character within us.

Totally unbelievable except proven over and over again by those who have surrendered to His Lordship. We, from all the saints in the 1st century to those of us today, have followed, tasted, and experienced the richness of living with the King every day. For some of us, it’s the great dance of life to have a relationship with the living God. For others, it’s simply to have a Father to lean on during those tough times. And for many, it may be a close, personal friend or brother to share life’s good and bad times.

Yes, Christmas is that time of year where God’s Spirit is on display for many to witness and decide whether or not Jesus Christ is who He claims to be. I for one am thankful for the decision to start following Him some fifty years ago. The knowledge, understanding, and wisdom obtained these years has gracefully changed over time as His Spirit lives within me and molds me into his character. This is one of many thoughts that I am reminded and thankful for this season of the year.  I hope you are too.    

Enjoy Christmas with your love ones! 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas: Making All Things New

Revelation 21:5
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

new1

Christmas means so much more for me than a celebration of the birth of Jesus. The reason for the season is an annual reminder that God is still moving his story toward a happy ending! With the Son of God, now wrapped by human flesh sitting on his throne in heaven, with the commission of making all things new, mankind has just begun to witness the fulfillment of God’s strategy of expanding his Kingdom throughout the universe.

The birth of Jesus in human skin is God’s universal plan to unite divinity with flesh. In Christ, we are reminded that all life is important; there is purpose and meaning behind every human; and real, sacrificial love is the answer.

When Peter spoke his first public sermon on the day of Pentecost, the same day the Holy Spirit made his public appearance, he quoted from the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

As we look back in history these two thousand years, we witness the explosion of knowledge, sci-fi visions becoming reality, and advancements in the human domain where many nation’s largest challenges are not just feeding their people, but to provide avenues of education for each person to discover their purpose and potential in living a meaningful life.

We may disagree on methods, techniques, and strategy, but the God-centered life will continue to lay the foundation of common sense, place an extreme high value of life, and provide opportunities for others to discover the real meaning and purpose of life ordained from the foundation of the world.

Jesus Christ is on his throne and He is making all things new. He has purchased all humanity through his life, death, and resurrection. He is the only person who has demonstrated real leadership for the benefit of mankind as a whole. His heart wants all of us to partner with him in his work now and into eternity. But he will not force you to comply. He respects your free will, and wants you to know he is always there for you. He is rooting for you, and wants what is best for you.

He is making all things new and wants you to know you are included with him in his plans. So, celebrate the season, rejoice with Him, and let love always be your leading guide.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas: The Relevancy of Jesus Christ

John 20:31
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.ESV.

A little more than two thousand years ago, a baby was born that would change human history. He grew up and started a movement without writing a book, running for political office,  leading an army, nor cornering the economic markets. He was born into an unpopular ethnic group, surrounded himself with people from all strata of society, and was controversial with his working peers. Yet today this man is the central figure of an international religion that integrates all nationalities, sexes, races, social, and political groups.

He still appears on magazine covers, books are still being written about him, and his story continues to be translated into multiple languages. His impact into the lives of people living today is an ongoing witness for unbelievers. Eventually you either acknowledge him or deny him in your life. You can only ignore him for so long.

For if HE is the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, King of Kings and Lords of Lords of heaven and earth, and the Savior of all humanity, what does that mean for you and me? How would truly knowing that change your life? Your purpose? Your future? Your family? Your relationships? Your work?

When you see atheists research material to prove Him an imposter and then reach the conclusion He is who He claims to be, and when you read books by the saints of yesterday and the impact walking in the Spirit demonstrated then as it does now, you can only receive assurances that there is more to this Man-God that even the Bible explains.

So when you remove the commercialism of Christmas, the pageantry of the holidays, and the false illusion of Santa Claus, you come to realize with gratitude the awesome and graceful act of benevolence from a God who cares so much to become one of us. For if humanity was worth nothing more but the value of a rat or a dog or a horse, would they be worth redeeming?

He became one of us so we can become one of His.

So let’s celebrate Him for the reason of the season.

Merry Christmas to you and your family and friends!

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas: God Invades the Human Sphere

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us” I John 1:1-2 ESV.

jesus 21

What type of person would…
…empty themselves from the universe’s highest privileges to share life with the lowliest derelicts?
…remove themselves from a sure future into a situation where the risk of failure hangs heavy on one’s shoulders?
…walk away from eternal bliss into human depravity?

How about someone who cares?

He surrendered his rights, privileges, and eternal home by walking through heaven’s looking glass into our human dimension.

As a Man-God he experienced birth, hunger, and filled diapers as a baby. He learned to walk, run, and jump as a youth. He was educated in the Jewish culture, shared family chores with his siblings, and grew in stature/wisdom with God and his neighbors.

He studied the Scriptures. Even debated with the religious academia scholars as a 12 year old.

As the family eldest, he most likely ran the family carpentry business after his step-dad died.

He attended Jewish weddings, funerals, and Sabbath services in the synagogue.

Near the end of his life, he also learned first-hand about pain and suffering. He witnessed the cruelty of people harming people for personal gain. He personally saw the injustice around him. Every human experience you and I share, he experienced.

jesus 20His name is Jesus.

Christmas is not about a baby. It is not about exchanging gifts. It is not even a birthday party. Christmas is our reminder that Jesus Christ invaded our world, restored His claim on Earth, and included us to share in His domain now and forevermore.

Please don’t get caught up in the commercial trappings of Christmas. Instead let Jesus be the center and reason for the season.

And with that…Merry Christmas!!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!